Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Difference of Needs

Jelena Jankovic needed to lose this week, while Ana Ivanovic needed to win and Roger Federer just needed to play.

This week was one of a myriad of different needs for the top players in the world, but it marked the first week since the US Open that the world's best were on stage - this time at two different events, in Madrid and Zurich.

It has been a dismal run for Ivanovic since winning the French. She had just been 5-6 on tour, losing early at both Wimbledon and the USO and looking like a player who was scared to hit a tennis ball instead of the number one player in the world. But this week in Zurich proved to be the reprieve she needed, winning two matches* and fighting hard against Venus Williams in the semifinals.

Jankovic, on the other hand, had been on a hot streak since the Olympics, losing just one match in that time - to Serena in the Open finals - and winning three straight titles in the fall season. But with the Season Ending Championships lingering in the near future, Jankovic's win streak would have presented more of a liability than anything else going into Doha. Her back-to-earth loss to Flavia Pennetta this week in Zurich let's her re-charge her batteries and find some hunger for a SEC title.

Everyone was relieved to simply see Federer playing, and he looked good in his opening two matches. But his semifinal rematch with Andy Murray didn't go as planned, and the Brit put Federer out much to many people's surprise after the drubbing that occurred in New York just over a month ago. It again showed Federer is human, but more than that, showed that Murray is a force to be reckoned with to end the season strong.

While all three of these needy players have been part of the tennis gossip lately, they each have different needs on court as the fall comes to a close. It's up to each of them to make sure their number one need, come two weeks from now, is to win the last tournament of the year, and that's something you can be sure each of them want to do.

*This blog was published while the Ivanovic-Williams semifinal was still in progress.

1 comment:

J.M. said...

Hi, great post.
It hasn´t been a good end of season for Ana Ivanovic, she has had injuries and she hasn´t been able to play consistently., regardless, I believe that she just needs to get her confidence up to a 100% to be at her best again.
Venus Williams won in Zurich, she beat Flavia Penneta and with that she most likely secured her place at the tour end championships in Doha.
Regards from Mexico,